Professors Receive Second Koch Grant to Continue Development of Economics iPad App
HIGH POINT, N.C., July 23, 2012 - Dr. Stephanie Crofton, associate dean in the Phillips School of Business at High Point University, and Dr. Daniel Hall, assistant professor of economics, have received their second grant from the Charles Koch Foundation for $6,000 to further develop an application for the iPad that allows students to trade in a pit market that is similar to the floor of the NYSE.

The professors created an app that allows students to act as "buyers" and "sellers" to instantly exchange trading information, just as if they were on a live trading floor, by physically "bumping" the iPads together. It was created over the course of the last year in conjunction with Roger Shore, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, and three students from the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. The project initially received funding from two sources - an HPU Think Big Grant and a separate grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The second grant from the Charles Koch Foundation will be used to fund the development of additional new apps for different types of economic experiments, and to compensate the computer science students who will continue to contribute to the app's development.

"The iPad app has truly brought economic theories to life for our students. In surveys and discussions, the students said they greatly benefited from the economic experiments on the iPads and learned the concepts far better after experiencing the workings of the various market types," says Crofton. "They were also delighted to find out that the actual results were exactly what economic theory would predict."

"Economics experiments are powerful tools for experiential learning," says Hall. "Students who participated in the iPad experiments previously had to take the professor's word that supply and demand determines prices in markets. Not only did they experience how this actually happens, they had fun doing it."

The app has sparked interest from other colleges and universities across the country that are beginning to utilize it in the classroom as well, adds Crofton.

The Charles Koch Foundation was established in 1980 by Charles G. Koch in order to advance social progress and well-being through the study and advancement of economic freedom. Through the foundation's history, it has supported the study of economic freedom through grant giving and support for professional education programs.

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